What Does Cinderella Do?

Thanks to the recent release of Disney’s live-action movie, Cinderella, there’s been a resurgent popularity for the romantic fairy tale. In a February post, I mentioned my enthusiasm for the upcoming (at that time) movie and my eagerness to see it. (I’m hopeful to catch it this coming weekend.)
Unfortunately, from about the 1960s and forward, the Cinderella mythology fell out of favor because the feminist dogma unofficially rejected her as an undesirable sexist stereotype. Google “feminism and Cinderella” and numerous posts result, many of which attempt to provide a new take on this formerly discarded fairy tale heroine.
Continue reading “What Does Cinderella Do?”

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The Precious Precinct of Imagination

Perhaps you’ve already heard about the predicament of nine-year-old Aiden Steward, a Texas school-boy whose whimsical offer to make his classmate “disappear” has landed him in hot water.

Having watched with his family the most recent entry in Director Peter Jackson’s film oeuvre, The Hobbit:  The Battle of the Five Armies, young Aiden strode to school one day carrying his own “magic ring” and suggesting the ring’s magic powers were available and at his disposal (if you will).

FROM:  http://tiny.cc/mw3jtx
FROM: http://tiny.cc/mw3jtx

Apparently, Steward’s unnamed classmate had no intention of hanging around to have the ring’s “magic” demonstrated on him. The offended child – seriously lacking-in-imagination – complained to a teacher who notified the school principal. In short order, Steward’s claim of magical power reached the district superintendent, resulting in the boy’s suspension for “making a terroristic threat.

Wow!

Continue reading “The Precious Precinct of Imagination”

Numbering One’s Days

Let’s take an excursion into Imagination Land today! No, we won’t be delivered on board a red Grumman sea-plane, we won’t be greeted by either Ricardo Montalbán or Hervé Villechaize, and this will not be our once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to explore the fantasy of our choosing. (I’m much too practical for such a distraction as that.)

dePlaneWhat we will do for a few moments is engage the imagination … yeah, you know that essential part of your brain? The organ you once used to envision yourself as a swashbuckling pirate or a ravishing princess held captive in a tower guarded by sword-wielding savages. Yeah, that brain.

And if it’s been so long ago you’ve forgotten where you put it (your imagination, not your brain), close your eyes a moment and see if you can imagine the Dallas Cowboys actually making it to the Super Bowl – plus, since we’re imagining, you’ve managed to snag tickets in one of the prestigious executive boxes. (I told you to use your imagination, didn’t I?!) Continue reading “Numbering One’s Days”

Wendy Grows Up

"Peter pan 1911 pipes" by Francis Donkin Bedford (1864–1954)
“Peter pan 1911 pipes” by Francis Donkin Bedford (1864–1954)

As I’ve mentioned in a previous post, J. M. Barrie’s fictional creation of Neverland and his story of Peter Pan has fascinated me since childhood. Between the time when my sister Nadja died (previous post here) and the birth of my younger sister Tamara (previous post here), our family resembled the Darlings (except I was second, fictional Wendy Darling had been born first). In our case, my family included older son Eric, daughter (me) and younger son Kevin. We slept upstairs in slant-ceilinged little rooms away from our parents’ space.

The sudden appearance at the windowsill of a boy who could fly and a fairy “no longer than your hand, but still growing” would have been an exciting scenario for the three of us! Becoming friends with a boy who’d lost his shadow might have puzzled us at first, but we’d have figured it out quickly enough.

Though I’d never have counted myself with the Lost Boys of Never-Neverland, in my younger years I well remember times when I wished fervently that I’d never grow up. The press of adult decisions and responsibilities seemed overwhelming and scary. I knew once I’d completely traversed the threshold of adulthood, my decisions were my own … for better or worse. Tell me that’s not sobering!

Over my lifetime, I’ve realized how significant imagination is to the proper formation of our adult personalities. There’s a terrific book by Professor Anthony Esolen called Ten Ways to Destroy the Imagination of Your Child. Whether read by a parent of small children or an older parent (like me), this book provides helpful insight about imagination. Another book, Tending the Heart of Virtue by Vigen Guroian, is subtitled How Classic Stories Awaken a Child’s Moral Imagination. An older book (1998), this one is well worth close study and reflection. Continue reading “Wendy Grows Up”